Is ‘The Winds of Winter’ the Last ‘Game of Thrones’ Book?

George RR Martin first started the A Song of Ice and Fire saga in 1996 with the publication of A Game of Thrones. Five books and an entire TV series adaptation later, he still hasn’t given fans what was supposed to be the penultimate installation of his planned seven-part series. I started reading the books in high school and was fortunate enough to have around two seasons’ worth of the HBO adaptation at the time and five books. I have since graduated college, started my own writing career, and am now in my third year of postgraduate studies. This is, of course, nothing out of the ordinary for the standard ASOIAF fan, considering that it has been raise years.

With the amount of time that has elapsed, some fans have wondered if Martin will just make this 6th book the final in the series. Here’s what we know.

what we know

Martin has given us snippets through the years via previews on his blog. In a recent July 8th update, he even confessed that doing readings and providing these teasers have amounted to over a hundred couple of pages now, and if he’d kept up with it, Winds would probably already be finished by now.

“Even saying that I am working on a Tyrion chapter, as I did last week, gives away the fact that Tyrion is not dead. Reading sample chapters at cons, or posting them online, which I did for years, gives away even more. I actually quite enjoyed doing that, until the day came that I realized I had read and/or posted the first couple of hundred pages of WINDS, or thereabouts. If I had kept on with the readings, half the book might be out by now. So I am not going to give you all any kind of detailed report on the book, but… I will say this.

I have been at work in my winter garden. Things are growing… and changing, as does happen with us gardeners. Things twist, things change, new ideas come to me (thank you, muse), old ideas prove unworkable, I write, I rewrite, I restructure, I rip everything apart and rewrite again, I go through doors that lead nowhere, and doors that open on marvels,” he says on his latest post regarding the much-awaited installation.

Martin also confirms, in the same post, a popular theory among fans: the book series will end significantly differently from the TV show (which may be good or bad, depending on how you look at it). According to Martin, not all of the characters who survived in the adaptation will make it to the end of ASOIAF and vice versa, meaning not everyone who died in the adaptation will die in the books. And he better be referring to Jaime Lannister because I am STILL mad about that.

Another thing Martin let us in on is that there will be new characters but no new viewpoints because, much like in the show, the books are a complex narrative told from varying perspectives from characters across Westeros. As of this writing, there are around 20 character perspectives that are bound to make an appearance in the sixth installment. Throughout the eleven-year wait, Martin has released and read the same number of excerpts, as follows:

  • Theon I
  • Victarion I
  • Tyrion I
  • Arianne I
  • Barristan I
  • Barristan II
  • Tyrion II
  • mercy
  • Alayne I
  • Arianna II
  • The Forsaken

Will we ever actually see this thing?

Martin failed to give an exact timeframe as to when we’ll finally see the continuation of the books and instead enigmatically wrote, “And the ending? You will need to wait until I get there. Some things will be the same. A lot will not… That’s all I can tell you right now. I need to get back to the garden. Tyrion is waiting for me.” And of course, given the wait, several unconfirmed rumors have made rounds on the internet saying that it’ll probably be published in late November this year or by 2023, but this isn’t exactly something new with Winds. We’ll just have to soldier on and hope for all our sakes that George really will give us a better conclusion than HBO did.

So, will this be the last GOT book installation?

Nope! Even though there was a very long gap between the last book and this one, Martin still plans on this being the penultimate novel, with the series conclusion titled, A Dream of Spring. Just please don’t make us wait another decade for it, pretty please?

House of the Dragon

Fans are not without hope, though, and are expecting ASOIAF content coming this August with House of the Dragon. In another July post, Martin shared that he’ll be flying to this year’s San Diego Comicon to join the series’ panel.

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